Matt Durkee (BS Geology, 2005; MS Geology, 2012)

Senior Hydrogeologist in Union Gap, Washington

I am currently the senior hydrogeologist with the Washington Dept. of Ecology Water Quality Program at the Central Regional Office in Union Gap. I am also a Licensed Geologist and Hydrogeologist.

I manage and write National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and state waste discharge permits that involve groundwater because of wastewater land application and treatment practices at a variety of facilities. The types of facilities include wineries, food processors, data centers, and other industrial facilities. I also provide technical assistance involving hydrogeology to my co-workers for a variety of types of permits and projects including sand and gravel mining, hard rock ore mining, municipal wastewater treatment facilities, dairies, and stormwater treatment among others.

Prior to switching to the Water Quality Program in May 2016, I was a hydrogeologist/site manager with Ecology's Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP). At one point in time I was the site manager for over 100 cleanup sites throughout Central Washington with various forms of contamination including old gas stations, large commingled tetrachloroethylene (perc) groundwater plumes from dry cleaners and other facilities, legacy orchard pesticide contamination at schools, and the former Boise Cascade Lumber Mill site along I-82 in Yakima. I also oversaw the investigation and cleanup of abandoned mine lands throughout much of the state, including the Monte Cristo Mining Area in Snohomish County. In the 3.5 years I was with TCP, I was able to guide 21 sites through the cleanup process ending in a No Further Action determination.

Before arriving at Ecology in 2012 and after receiving my undergrad degree from CWU in 2005, I worked in a surface water engineer position with the Yakima County Public Services Surface Water Management Division and as the hydrologist at the Yakima Training Center.

While working at the Yakima Training Center and Yakima County, I earned a MS degree in Geology from CWU that included a thesis studying arroyo cut-and fill cycles that occurred on streams within the Yakima Training Center after the last Ice Age. I want to really thank Lisa Ely for her support and guidance on my thesis while I balanced work, grad school, and starting a family!

Speaking of family, they keep me very busy, including my wife Jenna (CWU Biology), three children John, Sadie, and Bergen and numerous pets including a barn cat that lives with the chickens. I enjoy a number of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, skiing, and mountaineering. Between finally finishing my thesis in 2012, the kids, house projects, and Jenna finishing grad school in 2016 while working at Ecology, it has been a little more difficult to get out and enjoy the mountains, but I have found the time for a few trips, including a trip a few years ago to Ape Cave lava tube at Mt. St. Helens where this funny picture with Sadie and I was taken.

Information last updated on Dec 22, 2016